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C4 defends Ten O'Clock Live

...despite modest ratings

Channel 4 has defended Ten O’Clock Live in the face of modest viewing figures.

The first episode of the much-hyped topical comedy launched to 1.4million viewers in January, but the audience has now slipped to less than half that figure.

However Darren Smith, who commissioned the show, says it attracts an elusive young audience, many of whom don’t watch it live – even though that is the point of the show.

If repeats and on demand viewers are added together, Smith says the figure is 1.8 million – 38 per cent of whom are aged 16 to 34.

He told trade magazine Broadcast: ‘We could have done it as a pre-record but it would have been less exciting and spontaneous. That freshness is part of the reason why lots of people watch the repeat, and why there is an impressive video-on-demand uplift.’

The show – featuring Jimmy Carr, David Mitchell, Charlie Brooker and Lauren Laverne – is halfway through its 15-episode run. Smith would not confirm whether it would return for a second series.

Posted: 17 Mar 2011

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